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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 31, 2013 8:10 am

Scientific Games buying WMS for about $1.42B

The Associated Press

Instant-win lottery ticket company Scientific Games is buying gaming equipment company WMS Industries Inc. for about $1.42 billion in order to broaden its product offerings.

Scientific Games Corp., which also makes video slot machines and other gaming systems, will pay $26 per WMS share. That's a 59 percent premium to the company's closing price of $16.37 on Wednesday.

Its stock jumped $8.93, or 54.6 percent, to $25.30 in premarket trading Thursday.

WMS, which is based in Waukegan, Ill., currently has about 54.6 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet.

The companies put the deal's total value at approximately $1.5 billion, including $85 million in debt.

"The acquisition of WMS is transformational for Scientific Games, enabling us to offer a complete portfolio of lottery and gaming products and services to both new and existing customers around the world," Scientific Games Chairman and CEO A. Lorne Weil said in a statement.

Scientific Games said that it will look for opportunities to cross-sell products to each companies' respective customers.

Scientific Games, based in New York, said the buyout is not subject to a financing condition and that it has committed financing.

Both companies' boards unanimously approved the deal, which still needs approval from WMS shareholders. The acquisition is expected to close by year's end.